Summer 2018 is here (where does the time GO?) and it's never been easier to take your brood to a festival.
With such a range on offer nowadays, family-friendly festivals can be so much fun for both you and your tot and it's pretty much guaranteed to give you memories that will last a lifetime.
You'll be engaging in so many interactive experiences alongside them, encouraging them to take risks with certain activities and to get down and dirty in their wellies!
From diverse music to interactive puppet shows, mini Ibiza tiny tots tents, sling hire and onsite festival babysitting services, to delicious food & drink, and a whole array of camping options - take a look at our definitive list for the best festivals you can easily take your little one to.
The best family-friendly festivals 2018:
GIVE, 13-16 July 2018, LeicestershireHate the crowds? Looking for a smaller-scale festival in the UK? GIVE is a teeny-tiny celebration of soul, house, funk, reggae and blues, in beautiful Leicestershire countryside! Although it didn't originate as a family festival, many regulars now bring their offspring, who all come along and have the time of their lives. This year, we recommend watching British Soul singer Corrina Greyson and then heading to the treehouse, bouncy castle, karaoke and magic forest school with your tots...
Bluedot, 19-22 July, Jodrell Bank, CheshireDo your tots love science? Bluedot is an intergalactic festival of music, science, arts, culture and the exploration of space, set at the grounds of a deep space observatory. The line-up includes everything from live music to a ground-breaking programme of live science experiments, expert talks and immersive artworks! Bluedot is a wonderland for the next generation of scientists and artists to explore, and best of all, all teen, child and under 5’s tickets are free! With workshops and activities happening each day, such as T-shirt making workshops and a giant balloon mousetrap, your days will be jam-packed! The motto is Observe. Explore. Experiment. And that's exactly what you'll do.
Deer Shed, 20-22 July, North YorkshireDeer Shed is a festival made for families. It was founded by a couple who aimed to put children at the forefront of festival fun, by providing endless activities and workshops for kids, packed full of creativity! As well as the music (Goldfrapp are headlining!), expect to find yoga, crafts and poetry. Under-5s can enjoy a sensory tent, soft play and a Boom Chika Boom baby rave tent. When it comes to camping, ninety percent of the space is dedicated to family camping, which is ideal for early bed times. An NCT tent will be on hand at all times, giving you access to changing facilities, feeding areas, milk sterilisation, high chair facilities, microwaves and even sling hire. Nestled in a beautiful spot in North Yorkshire, the setting is picturesque and super easy to access - you're sure to have the time of your life with the whole family.
Curious Arts Festival, 20-22 July, New Forest HampshireCurious Arts Festival is most definitely one of the quirkiest we can find! It all takes place in the leafy New Forest, Hampshire, where you can expect to find all manner of eccentricities...and really is the perfect setting for kids. So if your tot would enjoy snail racing and insect walks...you're in the right place. This year, specialities include three dedicated kids comedy acts every day, a pop-up kids choir led by Gareth Malone himself, lots of foraging and even midnight batwalks! The festival aims to fire up young imaginations and has invited children’s authors, music teachers and puppeteers to inspire them...plus a kids’ film club runs all day if you want some downtime. There are plenty of camping options available, such as Glamping in yerts, so get booking yours now!
Port Eliot Festival, 26-29 July, St. Germans, CornwallThis is a stylish boutique festival in a fairytale setting in Cornwall. It truly does have something for all ages, whether you're swimming in the estuary, watching a performance or taking part in a workshop in the church or the art-filled house itself! Festival director and dad Colin, says: “Port Eliot brings out the child in all of us. Walking through the gates is like opening the wardrobe doors and entering Narnia." This year, make sure to check out the Dream Zone with Cornwall Youth Theatre Company, take a trip to the Trapeze School and the School of Magic, and settle your little ones in the Woodland Creche and the Tiny Tots tent. There are plenty of camping options, including luxury boutique camping or staying in fully equipped tents already set-up in the dreamy Tangerine fields!
WOMAD, 26-29 July, Charlton Park, WiltshireWOMAD is said to be an experience like no other, especially for fun, creative families who want to spent the festival experience together! There is a whole area called The World of Children, where you will find cookery and dance workshops, an adventure playground and a focus on painting and costume-making! Children under 13 go free. This year the theme is Insects so expect to see some beautiful butterflies, scary scorpions, delightful dragonflies and whatever your tots' imaginations come up with! But let's not forget the little ones, there is also WOMAD Weenies for under 5’s and a storytelling tepee. Get the whole clan to take part in family Zumba every morning and enjoy your time together!
Standon Calling, 26-29 July, HertfordshireStandon Calling is a festival that pays real attention to family detail, in a beautiful rural setting! If you live in London, this is a very handy one as it's just outside the city in leafy Hertfordshire. You can expect a fun-filled programme of daytime activities and performances for babies, kids and teens in dedicated spaces right in the heart of the festival. There's also a swimming pool. But best of all, Standon Calling have an onsite babsitting service called Mortimer Nannies, so you can leave your little one in safe hands for a couple of hours and go and enjoy some grown-up stuff! Festival bonus - Standon Calling welcomes dogs.
Wilderness, 2-5 August, OxfordshireWilderness is a family-friendly festival that puts arts and crafts first. It really is bursting with creativity, activities on offer include costume making, movie workshops, theatre groups, dance classes, fairytales, poetry and song for all the family! If the weather is nice, take a dip in the nearby lake or relax under the shady oak trees... Crucially, Wilderness have a designated quiet family camping area and a full babysitting service available too!
Lake Fest, 9-12 August, Eastnor Deer Park, LedburyLake Fest is a relatively new festival that is perfect for families, all situated in the stunning setting of Eastnor Deer Park. The atmosphere is very laid-back, with a huge array of craft workshops for kids and fun, niche activities like pedal-powered pottery and a tiny tots Ibiza tent! Tickets are cheap compared to other bigger, more renowned festivals and there is so much offer - we very much recommend it.
Just So, 17-19 August, Rode Hall, CheshireJust So is a festival MADE for families. Put simply, it is a spellbinding weekend where families can play, dance and create together and see breathtaking theatre, dance and music. Just so is a not-for-profit and on the smaller end of the scale, with a cap of 5000 people. Families can pick animal tribes to join and compete in a tribal tournament, take a rowing boat out on the lake, learn about stars at the observatory, hear campfire stories and locate a secret fairy hideaway in the trees. Don't forget to visit the Spellbound Forest, the Playground of Illusions and Weleda Peekaboo Garden for babies... In the Peekaboo Garden you can find the lovely nappy-changing tent with mats, nappies and wipes, as well as bottle warming facilities. From 5-7 each evening, baby bathtime will take place in Peekaboo, with baby baths and bubbles!
Shambala, 23-26 August, NorthamptonshireShambala is an eco-friendly, FAMILY-friendly festival celebrating world music! Packed full of music, magic and mayhem, this corporate-free festival is meat and fish-free and as green as can be! Expect an interactive puppet theatre that will wow little ones, a build-your-own adventure playground, and a varied musical line up with all sorts of instruments and cultures to discover. Shambala have a dedicated and flat Family Camping Field near to the car park with compost loos, hot showers and wash basins, with kid-sized loos! Shambala say: "Wake up singing every morning and go to bed with cocoa, fire and stories every evening." Don't miss out!
Into The Trees, 14-16 September, Pippingford Park, Nutley, East SussexIf you're looking for a fun, cheap alternative to a full-on festival, and want to get out and explore nature with your tots - this is the one for you! Into The Trees is less of a festival and more of a weekend getting grubby in the woodland of Ashdown Forest. The goal is to bring families together in the countryside and celebrate all there is that trees have to offer, from slacklining to foraging, bushcraft to climbing. Stay in a bell tent or teepee and watch your kids run free in the stunning landscape as you enjoy delicious food and all learn about wildlife! The best bit - adult day tickets are only £8 and children's tickets are only £5!